Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

Keegan Petersen has been nervous about making his Proteas Test debut for a while and admits the thought of doing so during the tour of the Caribbean is already giving him the heebie-jeebies.

The 27-year-old right-hander was part of the Proteas team that left for the West Indies on Monday evening for the two-match Test series and five Twenty20s.

The first Test will be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia from June 10 to 14 and the second from June 18 to 22 at the same venue.

After Faf du Plessis’s retirement from Test cricket‚ Petersen is poised to make his debut in the opening match. New captain Dean Elgar confirmed it by saying Petersen “comes into the mix” in Du Plessis’s absence.

“I have been nervous for a while now‚” said Petersen. “It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it right now. I know I will have big boots to fill. When I try to think about it‚ you know ... anyone would be nervous.

“But it is what we dream of as kids and eventually when the dream becomes a reality‚ it kind of gives your system a shock‚ to say yeah you have found your dream so now what are you going to do about it.”

Petersen’s selection is not cast in stone and he will only know for sure when the team is announced.

“We don’t know where it is going to go in terms of selection‚ but if I do get a chance I will obviously be extremely excited to represent my country and play with a good bunch of blokes.”

Petersen has been a regular performer on the domestic scene over the past few seasons and his inclusion in the squad was due reward.

If selected‚ Petersen is expected to slot in at No 4 where Du Plessis predominantly batted before his retirement. Petersen could also come in at his favoured No 3, but Rassie van der Dussen is establishing himself in that position.

The Proteas assembled at Kingsmead, Durban, before their departure. Petersen said preparing in the conditions at his home venue was ideal as the pitches they will be confronted with in St Lucia are expected to be low and slow.

Kingsmead has prepared him “for any slow or turning wicket”, he said. “Whatever I will get I know I will be prepared for. I don’t know the conditions ... but whatever it is it won’t be anything new to me.”

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